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    March 14, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: WORLD INVASION BATTLE LOS ANGELES

    WORLD INVASION: BATTLE LOS ANGELES (PG13)

    Genre: Action/Science Fiction
    Release Date: 17 March 2011
    Running Time: 116 minutes
    Distributor: Sony Pictures
    Director: Jonathan Liebesman
    Screenplay:Christopher Bertolini
    Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan

    Plot: For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world - Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world's great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It's up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they've ever encountered before.


    Review: Battle Los Angeles is not a movie about the actual event that happens in 1942, the years when anxiety hits the world with the ongoing World War II. Then we know it has something to do with the aliens and how the endless accounts of fictional entertainment over the years have taught you how they have come to invade us. It started out pretty promising. Just look at the trailer that Sony Pictures has been offering - impressive. But how did the final products turned out to be? How will it survives the year when plenty of other forms of organic and inorganic extra-terrestrial visitors are coming to our Earth? What so different with other alien invading movies?

    Battle Los Anegles sets on August 11, 2011. The world is preparing and expecting meteor showers to hit the Earth within the day. The scientist are scratching their head thinking why we could not have detected the objects months ahead instead. As people prepare to watch what they thought is the example of wondrous God's invention coming into our Earth, little do they know about the real deals they are meeting. Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) is preparing to call his Marines day off following the preceding event where he lost all the good men in his platoon. For the last duty, he has to make sure his new groom platoon is indeed ready for combat.


    However, the things about the meteor shower turns out to be something terrifying beyond the words. They are actually aliens - some form of mechanical organic creatures intended to invade Earth for its most valuable resource. As the people around the world watching the great cities falling, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for human. Staff Sergeant Nantz is assigned into a new platoon for search and rescue, and to draw a line as they take on the ruthless enemies they have never encountered before.

    On the first 20 minutes, Battle Los Angeles appears like any other normal alien-invasion picture. The aliens are coming in hot, equipped with technology far superior than ours and they are colonizing us. Isn't this something we have seen before or heard before? Is it Independence Day or District 9 or something like that in which this movie is attempting to follow? Now it tells you a lot how this movie becomes so clich├ęd and so typically your alien-invasion story - they come with a surprise, they come and colonize us but then we kick their asses after that. Not a single twist on its plot comes in handily without been unpredictable. Been predictable can really screws up your taste-buds on the outcome of the movie. But in Battle Los Angeles, been a predictable is not much of an issue because this is not what the story is really about. Besides, it is hundred-folds better than any of those garbages in Skyline.

    The movie does not brings in new edge creativity or perspective on how to defend ourselves from the aliens, just for you to endure the 116 minutes running time inside a cinema hall. Instead, screenwriter Christopher Bertolini is infusing experience rather than a whole new world been painted with fresh ideas and dimensions. Then there is some times you would be annoyed with the style of camera work the movie tries to go onto. Attempting to be as realistic as it seems, one may go out and shout to the cameraman - "Stop shaking and twitching your God-damn cameras". I have to admit, the first half an hour is pretty much painful because of the unjustified camera-work. Now we are talking on stuffs like in Cloverfield. But after you have settle in, the camera work is no longer an annoying issues. It's funny how the critics in the United States been kind to the type of styles Cloverfield employed but bashing the hell out of this. Cloverfield is good but there is nothing in this one that deserved an ill-treatment after all. It is unfortunate but a fact that director Jonathan Liebesman works this movie from a weak script to begin with.


    As I have said, nothing that we have not seen before, so the movie sells what it has been promised in the trailers - hardcore action battle. Instead, it almost feels like Battle Los Angeles is made to fulfill some hardcore group with some hungers for action-packed adventure and satisfying the whole fantasy experience. The movie is certainly a cross hybrid between some chapters from the 'Halo' game with the high technology applications from 'Call of Duty'. Expect some tails and pieces from the elements of 'Black Hawk Down' without pirates but with E.T. One thing to remind you is that the film doesn't really focus so much attention on creating an aesthetic alien figure. Aaron Eckhart is a respectable actor and his cold, stern and always on-serious-mode performance is something we can look for. You can also expect some slightly better performances from supporting casts like Michelle Rodriquez, Ramon Rodriquez and Ne-Yo.

    Battle Los Angeles is a cross between some scenes from Halo, Call for Duty and Black Hawk Down. The action-packed story managed to compensate the lack of originality in its story and its shaky camera-work will not win over some quarters of the viewers. It can be an enjoyable movie if you are able to tune into the movie at right tune.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 3.0
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.7/20.0
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